Philodendron: From Pan-Latin Exotic to American Modern

October 16 2015 - February 28 2016
Seventh Floor, The Wolfsonian–FIU, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL

Central and South American flora take center stage in Philodendron, a sprawling exhibition that charts the migration of tropical plants from their native habitats to North American and European gardens and interiors. Spanning three centuries and drawing together objects from the Amazon, Caribbean, and beyond, the survey explores this often-overlooked, Pan-American cultural exchange to deconstruct the “social lives” of the plants, from their influence on material culture to their impact on diverse fields ranging from the visual arts, architecture, film, and fashion to the agricultural, industrial, and medical sciences. By following the philodendron from the jungle to the home, the exhibition illustrates the myriad ways the plant shaped Western ideas of the tropics—becoming an evolving symbol for what is exotic, Latin, and modern. Philodendron includes objects created by indigenous Amazonian peoples; botanical drawings by Heinrich Schott, who first classified hundreds of Philodendron species; and works by such artists and designers as Henri Matisse, Roberto Burle-Marx, Paulo Werneck, and Erdem.

Experience highlights of the exhibition by visiting our audio guide on your mobile device: http://wolfsonian.toursphere.com.

This exhibition is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. The Exhibition Award program was founded in 1998 to honor Emily Hall Tremaine. It rewards innovation and experimentation among curators by supporting thematic exhibitions that challenge audiences and expand the boundaries of contemporary art.

Philodendron: From Pan-Latin Exotic to American Modern
Philodendron: From Pan-Latin Exotic to American Modern